My most recent car buying experience took three rounds of negotiating over the course of 2.5 hours to get a fair deal. This 2.5 hours did not include time spent test driving, evaluating a potential trade-in, signing the deal with finance, and conducting the delivery walk-through.
After this arduous buying process, I looked into ways to reduce time spent negotiating. Sites like TrueCar and the Costco Auto Program offer pre-arranged pricing. Their prices might be acceptable, but are not necessarily the best because they are lead generation sites funded by dealer participation fees. They are not advocating for you; they are selling your information to dealers.
I wanted no-haggle pricing with no conflict of interest, which led me to employee pricing. Pretty much all brands offer employee pricing on their cars, usually at or below invoice. For some brands you can obtain employee pricing without being an employee by joining a third-party club or organization, such as the ones listed below.
Some caveats: employee pricing isn’t completely haggle-free. You have to find a dealer that participates in the employee pricing plans. The model must be eligible for employee pricing. You have to negotiate away any dealer add-ons. You have to ignore the finance manager’s sales pitch. You can potentially do better than employee pricing depending on various factors like make/model popularity, days on lot, time of month and year, current manufacturer incentives, etc. However, at the very least, employee pricing puts a ceiling on the price you should pay.
Audi Affinity Program
- Audi Affinity Program
- Audi Affinity Price = 6% off MSRP on purchase of new/leased Audi from Audi of America
- Join Audi Club North America to receive Audi Affinity pricing
- Ford X-Plan – X-Plan rules
- Ford X-Plan Price = Dealer Invoice – (0.4% * Dealer Invoice) + Administration Fee
- Lincoln X-Plan Price = Dealer Invoice + (0.6% * Dealer Invoice) + Administration Fee
- Join the Mustang Club of America to receive Ford X-Plan pricing
Hyundai/Genesis Circle Plan A
- Hyundai Circle
- Hyundai Circle Price = Dealer Invoice + Freight + Advertising Fee – 1.5% of MSRP (not including freight and advertising fee) – $250 A-Plan Circle Cash – applicable HMA incentives at time of purchase.
- There’s no publicly available club to join and I couldn’t find an employer partner list, but if you have strong Google Fu then you can find a way into it.
Mazda Employee Pricing S-Plan
- Mazda Employee Pricing S-Plan
- Mazda S-Plan price = total dealer invoice price including freight and any voluntary assessments and state-regulated fees
- Join the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) to receive Mazda S-Plan pricing
Stellantis (Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Ram) FCA Affiliate Rewards
- FCA Affiliate Rewards
- FCA Affiliate Price = 1% below dealer invoice
- Join Tread Lightly! or the American Paint Horse Association (APHA) to receive FCA Affiliate (Stellantis) pricing
Subaru VIP Program
- Subaru VIP Program
- Subaru VIP Price = dealer invoice
- Join one of Subaru’s Partner Programs to receive Subaru VIP pricing. You need to plan ahead as there are different requirements for each program. For instance, with the ASPCA you must either be a Guardian member for 6 months or a Founding Society member (more expensive) for 30 days to receive the VIP pricing. The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is similar with a 6 month waiting period for contributing/activist/advocate members and a 30 day waiting period for Champion+ members. Choose a program that best aligns with your interests, timeline, and budget.
Volkswagen Partner Program
- VW Partner Program
- VW Partner Price = $500 off the Dealer Invoice Price, combinable with all current available retail offers and incentives
- There’s no publicly available club to join, but if you’re employed at one of the many companies on the Partner Program List, then you’re eligible for the partner price. Not all models are eligible.
- Volvo A-Plan
- Volvo A-Plan Price = dealer invoice
- Join the Volvo Club of America (member for at least one year) or search if your employer is already a partner.
Unresolved Brand Programs
I haven’t been able to find public access to employee pricing for these brands.
- BMW Corporate Sales Program – Jotform
- BMW Car Club of America (CCA) Rebate – Public program offers rebate, but not employee pricing
General Motors (Chevrolet, Buick, GMC, Cadillac) Corporate Offers
- GM Supplier Discount – National Corvette Museum members previously had access to the GM Supplier Discount, but no longer
- GM Family First – Open to family of GM Employees
- All GM corporate offers
Honda/Acura Purchase Program
- Team Honda Purchase Program
- Team Acura Purchase Program
Jaguar/Land Rover Private Offer Program
- Jaguar Land Rover Private Offer Program
- Discounts were previously available to members of Jaguar Clubs of North America (JCNA) and US Equestrian Federation (USEF). However, the discounts seem to be on hold.
Kia Friends and Family Program
- Kia Friends and Family Program – If you try to register, you can see the employers that participate in the program.
Mercedes-Benz Preferred Employer Program
- Mercedes-Benz Small Business
- Mercedes-Benz Preferred Employer Program
- Mercedes-Benz Partner Associations
Mitsubishi VIP Program
Nissan/INFINITI Vehicle Purchase Program
- Nissan/INFINITI VPP – Nissan Business Associates VPP has been suspended.
- Toyota Supplier Purchase Program